Today, the Chicago Bulls held an official groundbreaking ceremony for the team’s brand new practice facility. The new Chicago Bulls practice home is being built in the United Center’s Parking Lot J; east of the arena across from South Wood Street. Hopefully, this new facility and its convenient location will be a boon to the Bulls' recruiting of high profile NBA free agents.
Chicago Bulls representatives and local community leaders were on hand for the historic event. The current Chicago Bulls practice facility, the 35,000-square-foot Berto Center, is located in upscale suburban Deerfield. They are selling the building, so if you have $5 million burning a whole in your pocket, it could be yours.
The new $25 million, 60,000-square-foot practice facility construction project is expected to be completed in time for the 2014-15 season. It will be a tremendous upgrade; offering state of the art amenities. (for artistic renderings of the building)
“The Bulls have been good neighbors for many years, and I know this new practice facility is going to be a great addition to our community,” said Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. “The Bulls’ leadership has worked closely with us on this process, and I commend their efforts to further economic development on the West Side of Chicago.”
The Berto Center isn’t very far from downtown.
However, it can be quite the hike once you factor in awful traffic conditions; which are quite common.
Obviously, this will be more convenient. It’ll be similar to the Chicago Blackhawks set-up. The Hawks, who share the UC (thanks, Captain Obvious!) with the Bulls, have a practice facility right nearby in “Johnny’s Ice House.” The Berto Center is named after the late assistant of Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. This facility will put the naming rights up for sale; with expected revenue around $1 million per year. According to Forbes, the Bulls are worth $800 million as a franchise.
From Crain’s Danny Ecker:
Still to be determined, however, is whether Mr. Reinsdorf and Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz, who co-own the United Center, will build a $75 million to $85 million, 260,000-square-foot retail complex in the parking lot between the arena and the new practice building.
Plans for the complex reportedly include a number of restaurants, bars, a team store and event space.